Week #448 ~ Thankgiving Waltz

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week's overwhelming winner is Thanksgiving Waltz by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason. Easy enough to learn by ear! Whoever figures out the chords, I'd love them!

  2. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Can't give you the progression yet, but the chords (in the key of D) consist of D G Bm A
  3. David Hansen
    David Hansen
  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, David. I found an arrangement, but with no chords, and have posted it over in the Song and Tune Projects, thread for mp3s. Together we have a workable score.
  5. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    This is such a beautiful piece - at least when played with a violin. Can't wait (although I have been!) until someone posts a mandolin video. Just thought I'd give a little nudge. I'm working on it but need some help with reading the rhythm, which I'll get at a lesson on Monday.
  6. JL277z
    I was curious to see the differences between David's and John's pdf versions, so I combined them together into one score and had the app playback both of 'em at the same time! See mp3 at bottom of this post, to hear what that sounds like.

    Here's the PDF sheet music:
    Printable pdf with TAB

    I also added an experimental visible (silent) TIME TRACK to the sheet music above, to help with reading the rhythm - there are visible markers for the usual count "1-and-2-and-3-and".

    Also, instead of dotted notes, I wrote those with a tied solid note and flagged note instead (can't remember what their proper names are and I don't have time to look it up right now), because - for me anyway - it's easier to read without constantly losing my place in the rhythm.

    Below is the MP3 of the above combined sheetmusic, this is just MuseScore's computerized playback of the score, should be playable in the browser (click the little triangle/arrow on the left side) without having to download a separate file. I set "Version 1" to be a 'fiddle', and "Version 2" to be a 'mandolin', to give a better idea of which one's which. Has typical computer-generated grating/harsh sound because it's not real instruments:

    So anyway maybe that will help with deciphering the written notes...

    If there's any interest, I can make a TablEdit version of that, so it can be slowed down & tracks selectively turned on/off etc.

    Do those chords look/sound right? I experimented a little with a backing app, I put those chords into it, seemed alright I guess as far as I could tell, but I don't know if it's the same chords that the composer used on their recording of that tune. Suggestions welcome.

    Also, a 'know-it-all' friend (Masters degree in music, blah blah) recently scolded me for writing 3-page sheet music (different tune though), he says he can't fit 3 pages on his music stand. I'm like, "Um, scotch tape maybe? Or set the pages out on the desk until memorized?" He thinks I should not include tab. I don't agree with that, as many people find tab helpful, especially when first learning - I think tab is a good introduction to written music, & helpful for unusual keys. Although I usually read the standard notation part. For public posts I think tab gives greater accessibility.
  7. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    That's a lot of effort you have gone to, JL. Thanks for all your work.
    Re your use of TAB - I am not a tab user myself but have used it with learners on both mandolin and guitar and your point about greater accessibility to more people is a good one. If it helps somemone to learn the tune, then I'd say it has a valid reason to be included. Three pages too many? What about orchestral scores for those who play big "serious" music? As you say, Scotch tape is a useful tool in putting scores together. Maybe your friend could get a tablet, Mobile Sheets app and a pedal which turns the pages at the press of a foot!. I have Mobile Sheets installed, but do not use a pedal as I do not have many scores which go onto a second or third page.
  8. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Ok, I'll be first with my most simple, solo version, no chords, from what I got from learning it by ear from the video. It's a tune that begs for accompaniment! Played 3 times through, different octaves, on my Collings MT2O mandolin! It's December 1 in central Iowa (USA), in the morning with some lovely sunshine through my office window!

  9. JL277z
    Sounds good, Barbara! A pleasant video background too.

    Thanks, John. I do have the MobileSheets Pro app on my tablet and I love it, it's great. No pedal yet though, for my stuff I have kinda-sorta 'workarounds' for that...

    The tablet & MSP app serve basically two purposes in this household:

    Mode 1: As a lead-sheet & chord reference, to help me remember music I've already learned. In that instance, I format the PDF's for efficient use of screen real-estate on my particular screen resolution (I would have to adjust the formatting if I ever get a different-res tablet, not recommended procedure but I do it that way anyway). I make the written notation as small as it needs to be, within reason, to fit everything on usually one page (my up-close eyesight is not all that bad, for my age anyway). For my own uses, I do leave out the tab except for tunes in Bb or something.

    Mode 2, sort of the opposite of the above: For singing-only stuff, where I'm basically just holding the tablet for up to several other people to read the extra-large lyrics of songs. They can't read the tiny-print hardbound paper songbooks, but they can read the tablet ok when I setup the PDF's to have song lyrics displayed in a big font (large letters/words - I make these adjustments in MuseScore 2 music-notation app, then export as PDF). For this mode, I just use the MobileSheets Pro *smooth* scrolling mode. It lets me adjust the scrolling speed for each song. I like that better than the all-at-once page-flip mode, although the scrolling mode requires constant vigilance to make sure it's staying in sync with the live music. At the end of each lyric or stanza or whatever the proper name is, I tap the "return to top" area which zaps back up to the beginning of the next lyrics, and then resume the smooth auto-scroll.

    Anyway, back to the Thanksgiving Waltz here, I'm going to put that PDF music into TablEdit/TEFview format. Will post the file here when completed.
  10. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Thanks for posting your video, Barbara! I enjoyed the octave variation. Would love to hear some double stops in there to jazz it up a bit. I'm not there yet myself but will work on it.
  11. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Barbara, beautifully done! And David, a really wonderful production of the tune, great work and very enjoyable listen!
    JL, thanks for contributing helps for making the music more accessible.
  12. JL277z
    Thanks, Mark!

    Very nice, David! Love that bass too.

    Here's my try. Mandolin is acoustic this time, recorded with Zoom H2n built-in mic. The faux-tenor-guitar experimental harmony is my usual cheap Squier tuned to GDAEB.

    (or direct link)

    On the mandolin, I'm using lots of what I call "double stops", although that might not be the right term for it because some of them are *open* strings, but they still form part of a chord. I intentionally tried to make their notes fit ok with the chord names listed in the sheet music.

    On the guitar, I'm just sort of noodling around, part melody & part just filler notes (picking back & forth between two adjacent strings), but again trying to stay within the right chords. I really enjoy having that high B string on the guitar, it gives a lot more options as far as available notes in first position.
  13. JL277z
    TablEdit/TEFview versions (melody only) of that pdf I posted earlier:
    version 1, and version 2. Not sure I agree with all of those chord-names though...
  14. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Interesting playing, JL. That effect you create sounds almost like you are using a looping pedal or software at times.
  15. JL277z
    John Kelly wrote: "...That effect you create sounds almost like you are using a looping pedal or software at times."

    Nope, no pedal, no software tinkering aside from sticking the two tracks together in Audacity & then, after the tracks are merged, doing a "Normalize" on the whole thing to bring the overall volume up otherwise it's way too quiet, then a short fade-in at beginning of tune & fade-out at end of tune so it doesn't "pop" at beginning & end of tune.

    The mandolin playing is exactly the way the Zoom H2n mic recorded it, and the guitar playing is exactly the way the Roland MicroCube amp output it.

    (For the guitar, the Roland was set to its usual "Acoustic" modeling mode which is supposed to emulate an acoustic guitar sound, with reverb but no other effects).

    I do a lot of adjacent-string picking, where I alternate back & forth between two adjacent string pairs, that might be what people mean when they say "cross-picking" but I'm not sure of proper names, I just know that whatever it's called I find it an effective technique to fill in the gaps between long notes. I have never done tremolo (don't much care for tremolo, at least when I do it) but the alternate-string thing helps to serve a similar purpose by filling out the sound a little. The going back & forth between adjacent strings also gives me more notes to play on all those 2-note 'chords' that I use constantly.

    I *think* I still have the individual tracks from before I merged them (I'm not at my computer right now - posting this with my phone). Tonight when I have time, I will make another video of each track by itself, so you can see/hear exactly what I'm doing there.
  16. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    David and JL, I thoroughly enjoyed your versions!
  17. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Slightly belated posting. I have been visiting grandchildren and this went on the back burner for the past week. Tenor guitar and mandolin featured are my own builds, and the guitar is a Gibson L4 CES - a lot of guitar for a wee bit of backing!

    Acoustic instruments recorded via single T-Bone condenser mic into Reaper, and guitar plugged in via my Edirol UA-25 interface with no effects added other than a bit of compression on the master track.

  18. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Finally took some listening time, and I so enjoyed it!

    JL, it's always great fun to see your experimentation with instruments, a very interesting rendition, and good playing too!

    And JK, wow! First off, I loved your rendition and I really like your playing and look forward to your contributions. Second, the instruments are fabulous. Such a beautiful tenor and mandolin you've built there! I'll be looking forward to hearing more.
  19. JL277z
    Thanks John, Sherryc, and Mark!

    John, that's a nice sweet version you have there, sounds great, and it's awesome that you're playing instruments you built yourself. Very cool!

    John, here are the individual tracks for my video I posted earlier in this thread, so you can see/hear what I'm up to on each instrument - no loop pedals. These don't sound very good on their own, but I sorta like the combined sound (for now, although 6 months from now I might have a different opinion, ya know how that goes, sign of progress I guess). Anyway, FWIW, here's the mandolin-only:

    (or direct link)

    And here's the guitar by itself, this is probably the source of the sounds you mentioned, it's a lot easier to see/hear the cross-picking etc when the backing is isolated away from the melody. This was *not* intended to stand on its own without the lead instrument, so it just sounds like a bunch of random notes with no 'direction' to it. But I'm showing it here so you can see what I was up to with my playing:

    (or direct link)

    Now if all that wasn't enough to think about, when I recorded the mandolin I was listening to (in headphones) a sorta-jazzlike ChordPulse MIDI-only bass/drums/chords thing... The following is a short sample of what I was playing along with instead of just an Audacity clicktrack or metronome or something. Click the left-side arrow to play in the browser:

    However, *none* of the MIDI was in any of the videos I've posted here so far. It's just me playing.

    Probably would have sounded better if I'd used the MIDI instead though, it would have sounded more 'normal' than the odd backing ideas I come up with.

    (in any case, I'm still suspicious of some of my A7 chords in the first part...)
  20. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    You certainly go to a great deal of trouble to create and then share your sounds, JL. Very useful to those of us who want to try out new arrangements and get ideas other than our own to play around with.
    The guitar sound is very good and suits the mandolin track so well.
  21. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    +1 to comments on your playing, John. Thanks to all who share their talents and their resources.
  22. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Wow, so many lovely versions here - thoroughly enjoyed them all folks!
  23. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Wow, so many lovely versions here - thoroughly enjoyed them all folks!
  24. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    John K, your instruments are beautiful and sound wonderful! All the submissions are quite enjoyable. Thanks to all who have learned, recorded, and posted.
  25. Brian560
    I also enjoyed all of these submissions, from the ones like Barbara's and JL277z that are solo mandolin to the ones that are more orchestrated like David's, Johns and JL277s. John, those instruments are fantastic ! J277z, the breakdown of your original submission is particularly instructive. The mandolin track shows the fluidity of your playing.
  26. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I meant to record this lovely waltz last weekend, but have only got around to doing it today. I've played it on my Gibson Ajr, with tenor guitar and mandocello accompaniment.

    1921 Gibson Ajr mandolin
    Ozark tenor guitar
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello

  27. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Very nice, Martin.
  28. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Nice one, Martin.
  29. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Very nice playing, Martin, and I enjoyed the art very much, well done!
  30. JL277z
    Sounds great, Martin!
  31. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, folks! It's a fun tune, but as David has said there aren't that many notes so I added an extremely simple mandocello bassline which I think helps to beef up the sound.

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